EDUCATION

Getting a Better Understanding of Cannabinoid Lab Reports

With the hemp market growing at a faster pace than ever before, it’s only natural that consumers want to know with certainty that they’re getting high-quality, pure and legitimate products when they shop for CBD and other cannabinoid-infused goods.  Companies are free to promise that their particular hemp is the best that’s on the market.  However, there’s only one true way to know what you’re getting in terms of quality.  Would you like to know what this is?  It’s looking at lab reports.

Did you know that it has become all but a required practice that hemp companies have their extracts tested by third-party facilities?  Not only that, but to make the resulting reports available to customers?  Well, now you do.

What are Cannabinoid Lab Reports?

Certificates of analysis (CoA’s), are documents provided by a hemp company that come from a third-party testing facility. These facilities  analyze hemp extracts.  It’s become an established practice throughout the hemp industry to have every batch of hemp extract tested by one of these facilities, and for companies to post the resulting reports on their website in order to give customers confidence that they’re selling legitimate and high-quality hemp-based goods.

A CBD company can make any claims that they’d like regarding how good their products are, but understandably, consumers want to make sure that they can trust that a company sells products that are safe, pure and effective.  That’s why these lab reports are such an essential part to developing trust among customers.

Keep in mind these third-party labs are only testing the hemp extract used in a particular product, rather than the entire product’s formula.  Whether you’re buying a CBD tincture, edible, capsule or some other type, you’re only going to be finding information about the actual hemp content rather than the other ingredients.

What You’ll Find in Cannabinoid Lab Reports

Now, let’s break down the main pieces of information that you can expect to find in a cannabinoid lab report.

Cannabinoid’s Profile

Refers to a breakdown of the cannabinoids that are present in the extract being tested.  This information is important for a few reasons:

  • Will show whether or not the extract contains the amount of THC that is legally allowed.  A hemp product, according to law, can only have 0.3% THC at most, and the lab report will indicate whether or not the company complies.
  • Each cannabinoid offers particular properties, so it’s useful to know which ones are available in the product you’re about to purchase.  (Note: List of cannabinoids in this piece of the report depends on the type of extract you’re purchasing).
  • If you’re purchasing a full spectrum hemp extract, you should see the full variety of hemp cannabinoids in this area, including the trace amount of THC that naturally occurs, and a high level of CBD.  If you’re going for broad spectrum hemp extract, you should not see any THC in the breakdown.  Lastly, if you’re buying a cannabinoid isolate, whether it be CBD, CBN or even delta 8, you should only find the presence of this cannabinoid.

Terpene Profile

Terpenes refer to another class of desirable compounds in hemp.  Keep in mind that cannabinoid isolates will not contain terpenes, while broad and full spectrum extracts should contain a large variety.

The profile of terpenes determines the strain of the hemp plant, and so being able to see a breakdown of the terpenes found in a particular hemp extract can give you an idea of the unique effects of the particular hemp product you plan on buying.

Presence of Impurities

Now, you’ll find several categories that relate to impurities.  It goes without saying that you want a hemp product that’s as pure as possible.  Labs test for impurities that can enter the chemical composition of the hemp extract during the growing process, the extraction process and more.  Examples of impurities include: heavy metals, pesticides. and solvents.

Are There Any Harmful Microbes?

You’ll also find that the hemp extract is thoroughly tested for harmful microbes, both of a bacterial and fungal nature.  This ensures that the hemp extract is nontoxic and is safe for consumption.

How to Spot a Fake Lab Report

Unfortunately, some companies will try to get away with posting fake lab reports on their website.  This is extremely frustrating for consumers who don’t know any better but to believe the companies, only to find that the CBD product they invested in doesn’t deliver the results that they were hoping for.

So, how can you tell whether or not a lab report is fake?

  1. Know that all third-party lab reports should clearly state the laboratory name and a certification number. If these are missing from the report, you shouldn’t trust the company.  If the company does provide this information and you are still uncertain, simply do some cross-referencing.
  2. Reports should always look neat, tidy, organized, and professional. There shouldn’t be different font styles, handwriting, crossing out or whiting out.
  3. A lab report displaying information differently from the product description. An example would be a product being sold as a CBD isolate, while the lab report indicates the presence of many cannabinoids and terpenes.
  4. It always helps to research a company first. Companies with solid reputations don’t use fake lab reports.  Hence, no need to waste your time worrying about whether or not their reports are suspicious.
  5. A company that doesn’t do any lab testing should be avoided completely, as this is a very bad sign.

Now You Know What to Look For

Cannabinoid lab reports offer objective, unbiased information regarding the hemp that’s in the product you’re about to purchase.  But, in order to benefit from the availability of these reports, you need to know what to look for.  Moving forward, you’ll be able to choose your CBD and other hemp products more wisely.  All, of course, by understanding the information found in these reports.

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